Most household appliances are designed to last for years. In fact, when buying an appliance, we always look out for their reliability and lifespan. However, appliances are not made to deal with misuse, abuse, and mishaps that can ruin their functionality and lead to costly repairs.
Below, we show you 10 simple appliance mistakes that can cost you thousands, and how to avoid them.
1. Buying the Wrong Size
One thing that many buyers always forget to consider when buying their appliances is size. When buying refrigerators, washing machines, dishwashers, ovens, and other appliances, you have to consider whether it will fit where you intend to install or place it. If you buy the wrong size, you might end up needing to replace it or remodel your kitchen or laundry. Therefore, measure the space available as well as the entry points, such as your front door, basement doors, hallways, and so on. In addition, you should also consider how your new appliance will interact with its surroundings.
2. Using Faulty Appliances
A faulty appliance poses danger to you and your family. In fact, research from the UK shows that malfunctioning household appliances such as washing machines, dishwashers, and refrigerators cause more than 60 house fires a week in the UK. Fire & Rescue NSW reported that faulty appliances cause approximately 40 percent of all residential fires. Therefore, never use faulty appliances. If your appliance develops a fault, have it repaired or replaced immediately.3
3. Not Protecting Your Appliances
You can easily burn out your appliances’ delicate high-tech controls and digitals displays if you don’t protect them from power surges. If there happens to be a voltage spike, it can cause some very serious damage on your appliances, especially the washing machine and refrigerator. A bad thunderstorm is all it takes to endanger the functionality of your appliances, including even the most modern of technological innovations. If one power surge doesn’t ruin your appliance, multiple smaller surges may. They may erode internal parts and significantly reduce the useful life of the appliance. Therefore, the simplest way to protect your appliances is connecting them to a surge protector which you plug into your electrical outlet.
When choosing a surge protector, check the packaging carefully and ensure it says “surge protector” somewhere. Remember that surge protectors are different from power strips, and hence, if you buy a power strip make sure it has surge protection capabilities.
4. Buying the Wrong Style
Different appliances come in different shapes, designs, and sizes. Each style has its own pros and cons. Unfortunately, buying the wrong style can be a huge setback. Imagine buying a large, expensive, high-tech appliance only to leave you with a bloated bill. Different styles also offer different functionalities. For instance, a top-loading washer can wash more clothes in one cycle than a top-loading washing machine. A top freezer and bottom freezer offer space with few extra features while side-by-side refrigerator offers a balance between space and the extra features. Therefore, research before you buy your new appliance to ensure you buy one that addresses your needs.
5. Skipping Maintenance of Your Appliances
Conducting regular maintenance on your appliances ensures they work efficiently and increases their useful life. In addition, it prevents serious risks such as breakdown and even fires. For instance, the accumulation of too much lint in your dryer’s exhaust vent can cause a fire. This can be very dangerous and costly. Therefore, check your appliances regularly and have them repaired by a professional like Nationwide Appliance Repairs immediately you notice a problem. Also, learn how to properly clean every appliance to keep them operating at their optimal level.
6. Using Too Much Detergent
Using too much detergent can have a negative effect on your washing machine and dishwasher. For a washing machine, too much detergent can damage your clothes as well as the control panel of the machine shortening its useful life. It can also cause mold and mildew, which can cause other problems. Therefore, always ensure you use the correct amount of detergent. Using too much detergent in dishwashers can cause over-sudsing. These suds may push water out of the dishwasher, which causes flooding or leaks. Too much detergent also makes dishes to look filmy. Thus, check the detergent container for recommended amounts.
7. Overloading Your Appliances
People always make the mistake of putting too much food in their refrigerator. Though it might seem like a small thing, it can cost you a lot. Packing your refrigerator full makes it hard for air to circulate and keep the food cool enough. The motor and condenser are forced to work harder, which leads to excessive wear and tear, and ultimately, breakdown. You not only incur the repairing cost, but your food will also spoil. In addition, the refrigerator will consume more energy hence higher electricity bills. Therefore, always avoid packing your fridge full.
At some point, we’ve all overloaded the washing machine to save time or conserve energy. Whatever the reason, you should never do it. Overloading the machine could damage your machine’s drum and affect its efficiency. It also puts stress on the bearings of your machine, causing a premature breakdown. Therefore, manage loads according to your washer’s capacity. You can refer to your washer’s owner’s manual to see the machine’s maximum capacity. Similarly, overloading a dishwasher causes wear and tear on the unit as it has to work overtime to clean the dishes fully. This reduces its useful life hence you’ll be forced to repair or replace it sooner.
Therefore, always refer to the appliance’s owner’s manual to determine the right load to put so you don’t damage the unit.
8. Using the Wrong Soap
If you run out of dishwasher detergent, do not substitute it with laundry detergent or other types of soap. Similarly, do not use dishwasher detergent to clean your clothes. Apart from being ineffective, using the wrong soap can cause severe damage to your appliance. Some appliances such as high-efficiency washing machines have detergents specifically made for them. Therefore, use the right soap to avoid costly repairs.
9. Using an Oven to Heat Your Home
During the winter season, some people are tempted to use the oven to heat their homes when their heating system is not working. Unfortunately, an oven is designed to heat the inside of the oven only, and therefore, it’s wrong to use it to heat a room or an entire home. Not only is it dangerous, but it’s also inefficient. An electric oven left open can melt temperature dials and increase the chances of an electrical malfunction which can lead to a fire. And with a gas oven, you’re putting your family at risk for carbon monoxide poisoning which can be fatal. Therefore, never use an oven as a way to heat your home.
10. Not Preparing for Repairs
This is a very common mistake that most people make – after all, you don’t expect your new appliance to need some repairs. Unfortunately, even the highest quality appliances will need servicing at some point, and sometimes accidents or poor maintenance may require you to repair the appliance. Therefore, when buying a major appliance, it’s good to ask for contacts of professionals who can service it. You don’t want to find yourself in a situation where you have to travel hundreds of miles to find a serviceperson or replacement parts for your specific brand. Also, do some research to identify a reputable appliance repair company in your area because hiring unqualified people can lead to more problems.
If you’re living in Melbourne, Gold Coast, Perth, Adelaide, or anywhere across Australia, you can always count on Nationwide Appliance Repairs to handle all your appliance repairs and maintenance.